Essential tips for an indie filmmaker

Indie Filmmaker | photographer 1702074 1920 1

Being an Indie Filmmaker is fun and exciting but HOLY F*&K it can be tough!

In this article, we look to help make your next Indie blockbuster as smooth as it can possibly go (It won’t be smooth, but we hope to at least take a couple of problems out of ya hands!). We want to make sure you have the key factors to your film sorted and correctly sourced. We will make sure you have the correct camera, the right sound, an interesting story and efficient logistics.

1. The Camera

Selecting the right camera can be difficult. However, it doesn’t have to be expensive to be great! Filmmakers are now using their mobile phones to create award-winning movies – for example, Tangerine. The three main elements you should look into are the lens of the camera, the compression and finally the sound. You can buy a cheap, effective shotgun microphone to improve the sound. If you do look to buy a camera, review them thoroughly (here is an article to help: The Must-Have Cameras) and pick the right camera for the current project but also bear in find future ventures.

2. The Story

If you have a strong story the budget is forgotten.

Huge budget and a terrible story vs no budget and an incredible story

Who wins? 

…The latter every time. No doubt about it. You have to captivate your audience, take them on a journey – a rollercoaster. Keep them guessing, keep them thinking, keep them wondering “What next?!”.

3. The Location

This is possibly one of the most expensive components of a film. This needs to be either two/three locations of a short walk or a location that can be changed into multiple scene locations.

Moving your cast and crew from each location to location is time-consuming, and RIDICULOUSLY expensive. Keep this to a minimum. This will also have an impact on how you write your screenplay.

If you can reduce the amount of travel time or completely cut it out by using one location this will lower costs and most importantly YOUR time.

The Logistics

Stay organised, it’s a must! Being organised is essential for an Indie Filmmaker.

Make sure your plan is watertight and ensure you stick to it. This will save you time and money. The final product will be far better as well. A disorganised team, who are unsure of where to go or what to do is a disaster waiting to happen.

Finally… THE SOUND

This. IS. Very. Important. We cannot emphasise this enough. You need the audience to be submerged within your film, on the edge of their seats, awaiting every moment – every twist, turn and breath. But with shit sound – you lose everything. Not even a crisp wide shot of the Andes backdrop would keep them interested if the sound is poor. Make sure if the camera doesn’t have a good sound recording you can pick up a reasonably priced shotgun mic, or even a quality dictaphone would do the job!

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Jay Neill

Jay Neill is the founder, owner, and managing editor of iFilmThings and believes everyone should have access to the film resources they need to plan their filmmaking project, which is why he’s dedicated iFilmThings to helping all filmmakers.

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